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Author Topic: In case anyone was wondering about using BitForce Singles in OSX  (Read 3208 times)
Phraust
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May 04, 2012, 08:37:40 AM
 #1

I've had a hell of a time getting these things to work.

Granted, I don't know a whole lot to begin with, but after beating my head over installing the appropriate tools to try to compile cgminer(worked) and ufasoft(didn't work), and trying bitminter.com's java based client, i had just about given up.  OSX wasn't identifying them to a /dev/tty. position, even though they showed up in system reporter, so everything was failing.  I had also installed ubuntu in a vm (parallels), built cgminer and ufasoft, and still no dice.

I was about to try running windows in a vm, when I managed to stumble upon a link to a usb serial driver that matched what I seeing from the output (Future Technology Devices):

http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

I used the x64 (2.2.17) drivers for 10.7 and holy shitballs, they got recognized.  Currently mining using bitminer.com with 3 bitforce singles.

I hope that someone can benefit from my four days of head scratching. Cheesy

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May 10, 2012, 09:47:56 PM
 #2

I think that because you need a computer in order to run a BFL, and after the emergency technology convention on October 5th, 2011, Macintosh coasters are no longer classified as computers.

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May 10, 2012, 09:57:27 PM
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I think that because you need a computer in order to run a BFL, and after the emergency technology convention on October 5th, 2011, Macintosh coasters are no longer classified as computers.

Now that's just mean.

BitcoinBaltar, try starting cgminer with the following option added:   --disable-gpu
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May 10, 2012, 11:51:02 PM
 #4

I borked up something so I can't compile cgminer anymore.  mind sharing the binary?

I've been running it through an ubuntu vm (parallels) and passing the devices through.  it's been working pretty well, I've just been too lazy to debug anything.
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May 10, 2012, 11:55:35 PM
 #5

I saw a picture somewhere of a couple BFLs hooked up to a Mac Mini.  I think it was in the FPGA picture thread, but I can't find it right now.

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May 11, 2012, 12:15:30 AM
 #6

That was mine...  under FPGA rig photos:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=70611.msg886202#msg886202
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May 11, 2012, 12:17:40 AM
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Oh. Well then I don't think you will find any other ideas/help there lol

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May 11, 2012, 12:33:58 AM
 #8

Nevermind, got off my ass and fixed it.  running cgminer + 3BFLs native now. Cheesy
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May 17, 2012, 07:16:13 PM
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ok what do i actually do with these drivers

not sure what they even used for.
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May 17, 2012, 07:54:02 PM
 #10

ok what do i actually do with these drivers

not sure what they even used for.

After you install them, the BitForce SIngles should start appearing under /dev/cu.usbserial*.

Try opening a terminal and doing:

ls /dev/cu.usbserial*

Those are your Bitforce Singles.  This is what I see when I do it:

leviathan:~ phraust$ ls /dev/cu.usbserial*
/dev/cu.usbserial-001013FD /dev/cu.usbserial-005013FD /dev/cu.usbserial-007613FD
/dev/cu.usbserial-002013FD /dev/cu.usbserial-006013FD /dev/cu.usbserial-007713FD
/dev/cu.usbserial-003013FD /dev/cu.usbserial-007113FD
/dev/cu.usbserial-004013FD /dev/cu.usbserial-007513FD

You can use that address in cgminer, eg -S /dev/cu.usbserial-001000FD, and now you have them as mountable USB devices in parallels as well.
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May 20, 2012, 04:01:28 AM
 #11

Well, someone requested that I compile cgminer for them on OSX with FPGA support, so here it is:

http://bitcoin.phraust.com/cgminer.zip

I compiled it on a MacMini (2GHZ Intel Core i7/2012) with OSX 10.7.3 using the lastest git from:
http://github.com/ckolivas/cgminer

With the following switches:
./configure CFLAGS="-O2" --enable-bitforce --enable-icarus --enable-ztex

There is a readme with instructions on how I've managed to cobble things together to make it work.  Any input would be great.
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May 20, 2012, 09:05:45 PM
 #12

As u know I'm trying to do that with my Ztex devices, but I'm not able to run them atm.

I think that the Driver u need for BFLs doesn't work with Ztex devices.

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May 21, 2012, 11:26:08 AM
 #13

Well, someone requested that I compile cgminer for them on OSX with FPGA support, so here it is:

http://bitcoin.phraust.com/cgminer.zip

I compiled it on a MacMini (2GHZ Intel Core i7/2012) with OSX 10.7.3 using the lastest git from:
http://github.com/ckolivas/cgminer

With the following switches:
./configure CFLAGS="-O2" --enable-bitforce --enable-icarus --enable-ztex

There is a readme with instructions on how I've managed to cobble things together to make it work.  Any input would be great.

Seems like you are a compile god for Mac = just what I needed !

It would be very nice if you could help me fix this issue here with 10.5.8 and litecoind 0.5.0.4 !

https://github.com/downloads/coblee/litecoin/litecoin-mac-client-daemon-0.5.0.4.zip does not work on 10.5.8 but only on 10.6 and I cannot upgrade unfortunately. It uses Intel X86 though.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=55105.msg853835#msg853835 for the issue.

Contact me via PM if you want more details and THANKS !

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June 04, 2012, 09:18:13 PM
 #14

Hey, just compiled 2.4.2 for OSX, here:
http://bitcoin.phraust.com/CGMINER_2.4.2.zip

Using:
./configure CFLAGS="-O2" --enable-bitforce --enable-icarus --enable-ztex

Just in case anyone needs it.
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June 04, 2012, 10:14:08 PM
 #15

I don't have any BFL products but have plenty of Ztex boards running on OS X. Note that I use Snow Leopard, not Lion or the previous Leopard.

Both 32-bit and 64-bit compiled jnilib files will work - all you need to do is to install the *legacy* version of the libusb driver using MacPorts, modify the Ztex Makefile in the libusbJava-src folder (this is in the ZTEX SDK, which you'll need to download), and make the jnilib files. Once you've got those... it's really as easy as copying them into the same folder as the version of the pre-compiled Java distribution that Stefan publishes on the Ztex BTCMiner web page.

True, there's a bit of buggering around required to initialise the devices (note - try not to have any iDevices (iPods / iPads / iPhones) on the USB bus at the same time, and ensure your USB hubs are either top-quality or externally powered). But once you've got them initialised, there's nothing else required.

I'm running 5 Ztex boards on OS X 10.6.8 - granted, this is the Mac Pro that I used to develop the OS X version of the libusb Java bridge - but it's fully 64-bit and running the 64-bit jnilib. I simply installed the legacy libusb package from MacPorts on my Dell Mini netbook (running Mac OS X 10.6.0) and copied over the entire folder from the Mac Pro - and this is currently running a 1.15d Ztex development board happily using the 32-bit version of the jnilib.

I went deep into the rabbit hole with the ZTEX SDK (all the way into compiling the FreePascal macro processor and nearly putting my fist through a number of Apple 30" displays at the time... would have been expensive if frustration got the better of me!) - but at the end of the day, it's unnecessary.

All you need to run Ztex FPGAs on OS X Snow Leopard is the old libusb (legacy version), and the jnilib binaries which are OS X specific (since they need an altered Makefile in order to build on OS X).

One thing I *have* found is that Ztex FPGA boards are *incredibly* sensitive to the quality of the USB cables and hubs. With 25 boards to assemble, I obviously needed quite a few USB2.0 hubs, and I wasted a LOT of money buying hubs that the Ztex devices simply refused to work with. Even with massively over-specced power supplies (barrel connectors wired with AWG18 cable to a pair on a gamer PSU's PCIe power plug), I needed to use expensive powered USB hubs to get anything over 4 FPGAs working. The 20-board rig shown above uses three powered 7-port hubs. Stefan's advice in the Wiki about ensuring plenty of ground connections is absolutely critical, but even with a notional 60W supply dedicated entirely to an FPGA board that should only take 11W at max (with a fan)... cheap passive USB hubs simply won't work.

That said, I've taken apart a few of the cheap USB hubs I've received and the internal soldering is beyond appalling. It's a small sample but out of 15 four-port hubs, two had soldering inside that shorted out pins and screwed up everything on that bus. This is perhaps where the 4-chip Ztex boards come into their own - needing fewer USB hubs, at the expense of code incompatibility with other single-Spartan-6 boards (though the Ztex wiki does detail the changes required to support the Quads). I'd be interested in the experiences of other people with substantial numbers of Ztex 1.15x boards and whether USB problems were found...


Anyway I'm flat out at the moment, not on the forums regularly and can't offer a lot of support, but I've written up some of my findings on the Ztex Wiki page re: 'Porting to other platforms'.

And you can get my OS X binaries here - http://www.catfsh.com/bitcoin/fpga/MacOSX-SnowLeopard-Ztex-jnilib-catfish.zip

This folder contains the jnilib files and a couple of shell scripts to initialise and kick off mining, along with the current Ztex JAR. If they don't work, then make sure you've got the legacy libusb installed - use MacPorts and stick to the usual location (/opt/local/lib).

Stefan - if you're reading this and want me to remove the file from my webserver, let me know - it's your code after all.

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


BTC: 1A7HvdGGDie3P5nDpiskG8JxXT33Yu6Gct
BR0KK
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June 04, 2012, 10:49:33 PM
 #16

Quote
That said, I've taken apart a few of the cheap USB hubs I've received and the internal soldering is beyond appalling. It's a small sample but out of 15 four-port hubs, two had soldering inside that shorted out pins and screwed up everything on that bus. This is perhaps where the 4-chip Ztex boards come into their own - needing fewer USB hubs, at the expense of code incompatibility with other single-Spartan-6 boards (though the Ztex wiki does detail the changes required to support the Quads). I'd be interested in the experiences of other people with substantial numbers of Ztex 1.15x boards and whether USB problems were found...

Im having or had issues with my trust 7 Port hub (powered) .... These are random and affect all boards (or fpgas) the same way. For a month now i didn't have any hashrate drops or libusb errors ....

Same goes for low quality usb cables.

My setup is stable for now but in kind of a "do not touch" state Cheesy

Phraust
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June 05, 2012, 04:28:02 AM
 #17

How interesting.  I'm noticing that after a long run (24+ hours), some of my BFLs seem to drop off a bit.  I had thought that they were throttling, but even after cooling them off and power cycling them they still showed the same low Utiliy rates and apparent throttling.  Only after I completely reboot everything does it come back 100%...

I had an issue with the Satechi 12 port usb hub, where it wouldn't recognize the unit I was plugging into port 6.  I moved everything down one, thought nothing more of it.  But maybe the low quality USB cables, they way I've tied them, the hub, or a combination of the three could be causing the faults.  I was noticing particularly bad hashrates when I ran the USB cables close to the power cables, so switched them up, now usb's go to the top of the shelf, and power cables go to the bottom.  But I still bundle the 10 usb's together at the hub so they look neat and tidy...

I'll have to look into this more.  I tend to see how well they do for a bit, then like BR0KK it's a "do not touch" state to mine as long as I can.

I have found someone wiling to co-locate my rig however, in a nice, cool environment, for less than I'm currently paying for electricity.  Once I get things setup there and running (much, much) cooler, I'll be able to get a better idea of where the throttling occurs.
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